He said unto them, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” And they said unto him, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” —Acts of the Apostles 19:2, KJV
He aks um, “You wen get God’s Spesho Spirit fo take charge you wen you wen trus God, o wat?” Dey say, “We neva even hear bout God’s Spesho Spirit befo dis.” —Jesus Guys Wat Dey Wen Do 19:2, Da Jesus Book
New Christians, and old ones alike, have many questions about the Holy Spirit. It seems it is expected that people who attend what we call pentecostal, full-gospel, evangelical, and even non-denominational churches should already know about the Holy Spirit. This is not so. Many of these churches do not even instruct their people about the baptism, gifts or ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The basic thing most denominational people fear about the “pentecostals” is the thing about speaking in tongues. For some reason they have taken the experience of speaking in tongues and equated it to something demonic or evil; they may teach that speaking in tongues was something the early church of over two thousand years ago experienced, but it isn’t necessary today.
The Word of God says very clearly, “Jesus Christ (anointed with the Holy Spirit in His fulness) is the SAME yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines.” Hebrews 13:8-9. The Holy Spirit of two thousand years ago is the very SAME Holy Spirit today, in His fulness of baptism, gifts and operations.
Da Jesus Book says it this way: “Cuz, Jesus Christ, he stay da same, yesterday, today, an foeva! Get all kine diffren kine stuff dat peopo teach, you know. No let dat kine stuff pull you guys away, an no take um in!”
Now back to the “tongues” thing. When one is receives what is referred to as “the baptism of the Holy Spirit,” the first, initial, beginning, opening, commencing, starting, inceptive, primary, preliminary, foundational SIGN, or EVIDENCE that he has received is that of speaking in tongues. These words that describe “first” show very clearly that there are other signs that will accompany and/or follow the one who is filled with the Holy Spirit. However, the first sign of being baptized in the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues. This “first sign” is recorded in three places in the Book of Acts. Read Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:1-6. In the mouths of two or three the Word of God is established. So there you have it. Three times.
After the “first” sign of speaking in tongues, the one who is filled with the Holy Spirit will ALSO experience other signs (indicators) of the baptism.
–Fruit of the Holy Spirit will begin showing up in the person’s daily life. Galatians 5:23. There are nine listed: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Nine. This is the number God has assigned to the Holy Spirit. It is an eternal number. Look at this —
9 times 9 equals 81, right? The answer 81, broken apart to 8+1 = 9
99 times 9 equals 891. The answer 891, 9 in the middle and an 8+1 on each end = 9
891 minus 81 equals 810. The answer 810, 8+1 = 9
891 times 9 equals 8019. The answer 8019, 9 on one end with an 8+1 = two 9s
8019 times 81 equals 649539. The answer 649539, 6+3, 4+5, plus two 9s = four 9s
Now, take a pencil and paper and try multiplying 99,999 times 99,999 and see what 9 combinations you get. The answer is hidden somewhere in the remainder of this article.
Fascinating, isn’t it? No matter if adding, subtracting, dividing, or multiplying, the number nine continues forever.
–Holiness becomes a desire from deep within the Holy Ghost-filled believer. The old ways begin passing away, and a greater desire to be holy like God begins taking over. 1 Peter 1:15-16
–A non-brash boldness and confidence fills the entire being of a Holy Ghost-filled believer. One is not afraid to talk about their new experience in God anymore. Acts 4:29-31. Plus . . .
–A desire to pray and commune with God more than ever before comes alive, resulting in daily two-way conversations with God through the Holy Spirit. Acts 4:24-33
Did you know that the Holy Spirit cannot speak in tongues? He is a Spirit, and He needs the vocal instruments (the mouth and tongue) of the believer in order to speak the wonderful works of God. Look at Acts 2:4 where it says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
To find the subject of this sentence, we must ask WHO began to speak? The only answer is THEY began to speak. It was not the Holy Spirit! It was He who gave them the words to speak as they opened their mouths and spoke willingly. The words bypassed their minds and they could not understand what they were saying, because the words they were speaking were not their native tongue. 99,999 times 99,999 = 9,999,800,001. Why did the words bypass their understanding? Because God Himself was speaking through these tongues-talkers to the thousands gathered there that day in their own native languages the wonderful things about His Son who had died, was buried and rose again.
The 120 who were filled with the Holy Ghost that day did not know the languages of all the foreigners gathered there. But God did! So He miraculously spoke to all of them in their own languages. God gets the credit, not the 120. This was a miracle of the first degree.
For those of you who have not experienced the wonderful initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, hey, a first-degree miracle of God is on the very tip of your tongue right now!
We have our needles of church tradition, customs and culture. We have denominational barriers that keep us from true fellowship with God and one another. On this side of the eye of the needle we find it dark, and, oh, so narrow that there is no space to move among ourselves (and God) in true fellowship. On this side of the needle it is very narrow because WE stand in the way. There is no space to let God show His glory in the church, perhaps because “we never did it that way before.” Those are the seven last words of any dying church, you know.
But, when we humble ourselves and pass through the eye of the needle, we lay aside the traditions and denominational rules that have been put on us to keep us from knowing God more intimately. On the other side of the eye of the needle we find the roomy, extensive, spacious and open places of God. We find freedom, liberty, no obstacles or hinderances. We find room to move in any direction the Holy Spirit leads us. It is as though we have been “translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of LIght, the Kingdom of God’s dear Son.”
Indeed, the other side of the needle is a kingdom made real only by the Holy Spirit.